Module 7 - Social dialogue and SSTC: a workers’ perspective

a. Introductory Text
In this module, participants will be able to implement initiatives to strengthen Workers’ Organizations including developing effective trade union policies and strategies on protecting and promoting worker’s fundamental rights. This module will be based on the presentation and discussion of SSTC initiatives which are intended to strengthen workers’ organizations. Some of them are:
- Global Labour University (GLU);
- COSATU, CUT, etc;
- ILO-ACTRAV and ACFTU SSTC project to strengthen the technical capacities of union leaders and activists in the Asia- Pacific region for developing effective trade union policies and strategies on protecting and promoting fundamental rights of their members.
The internationalism of the Trade Union movement pays special attention on the South-South cooperation with a common goal: sustainable development including four dimensions at the same time –social, economic, environmental and politic–, and, in addition, from the Decent Work approach.
Trade Unions need to work together through a strong South-South network for finding common solutions for common challenges. This Academy, from the social innovation approach, will allow to reinforce the South-South cooperation firstly through IBSA countries (India, Brazil, and South Africa) and then through exchanges of experiences among Regions and inside Regions.
The Third High Level Forum HLF3 on Aid Effectiveness affirms that (§ 19.d): South-South cooperation on development aims to observe the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, equality among developing partners and respect for their independence, national sovereignty, cultural diversity and identity and local content. It plays an important role in international development cooperation and is a valuable complement to North-South cooperation.
South-South cooperation can be defined as an exchange of knowledge and resources in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental or technical domain, between governments, organizations, and individuals in developing nations. It can take place on a bilateral, regional, subregional or interregional basis and can involve two or more developing countries.
SSC, based on the attainment of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, is meant to strengthen developing countries’ voice and their bargaining power in multilateral negotiations. It also gives them the opportunity to promote self-sufficiency among them and strengthen their economic ties.
However, despite the fact that SSC can be more sustainable than traditional North-South cooperation allowing better adaptation to the country situation, in practice there is still no shared understanding on the very nature and goals of SSC. This is true on the basis of the various and sometimes divergent “interpretations” on SSC given by both emerging economies and developed countries. Some argue that South-South cooperation should not be seen as a substitute for, rather a complement to North-South cooperation, while others argue that the two models can’t be placed on an equal footing.
Finally, Triangular cooperation (TC) involves two or more developing countries in collaboration with a third party, typically a developed country government or organization, contributing to the exchanges with its own knowledge and resources.
b. Videos
d. Suggestive Questions
Think about the questions presented below. They were elaborated to encourage participants to express their views, concerns and needs. Write your answers to the questions in the discussion forum located in the bottom of the page.
1) Is SSTC a path for sustainable development?
2) How can trade unions facilitate the strengthening of SSTC?
3) What kind of conditionality should SSTC have, from the trade union point of view?

Discussion Forum: ILO Academy on SSTC - Module 7

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